Sunday, April 10, 2016
Surviving Amidst the Forces of Darkness
I don’t normally believe in the supernatural, but recent events have got me rethinking the whole nature of reality. Remember those horror movies where an all-American family moves into a new house and everything starts going awry? At first it’s just a door slamming by itself or knickknacks jiggling on a shelf. But then more devastating things start happening to the people, and you’re ultimately faced with the horror that your family is under attack by evil spirits. While it’s hard to believe, there doesn’t seem to be any other plausible explanation for our recent travails.
I started wondering about a demonic curse some time back when Katja got into a minor traffic accident on Ludlow Avenue. The young woman whose car Katja banged into said she was fine and drove off without incident. A week later, though, Katja and I each got a registered letter informing us that we were being sued for $25,000 – Katja for negligent driving and me for negligence in allowing my wife to drive a car that was officially in my name. Our courtroom trial was scheduled some 18 months away, and we’ve waited anxiously ever since, imagining all the horrid things that could happen from the evil woman’s lawsuit. Finally last month, just days before the trial date, our lawyer called and said that they’d reached a last-minute out of court settlement. That was a relief, though we’d already endured at least $25,000 worth of emotional torment.
Shortly after our trial was cancelled, practically everything in our house started breaking down. First, the venetian blinds jammed, sealing us off from the outer world. Our ice-maker promptly stopped making ice cubes, disrupting the cocktail hour. Our ecologically friendly toilet got plugged up for the fourth time in a month. No sooner had the plumber came to fix that problem than we had to call him back when the garbage disposal stopped functioning. The plumber pulled out about three feet of gooey sludge and said it must date back to World War I. The final clincher was when our electricity went out and we lost our telephones, internet service, and cable TV for 24 hours. No cable? No Internet service? If this is not the devil’s handiwork, I don’t know what it could be.
Katja and I were eager to get out of the house last Tuesday to begin our spring quarter classes at the university. When we returned, we walked in and discovered a full-scale downpour coming through a dozen spots in our kitchen and dining room ceilings. I rushed upstairs to the bathroom and found that a pipe had burst on the toilet, flooding the second floor bathroom. The first floor was covered in an inch of water, and, when I checked the basement, the water was pouring through the basement ceiling as well, soaking the endless piles of stuff that we’d accumulated there for decades. Katja made an emergency call to the the plumber, and I frantically sought some way of turning the water off. Finally I found a valve in the upstairs bathroom, and I was able to stop the torrent of water that was gushing out of the pipe. So much water had already escaped that the rainstorm through the ceilings continued for another thirty minutes.
Our insurance company sent over an emergency cleanup team within the hour, and their assessment was dismaying, particularly to Katja who has put so much energy into household renovation over the years. Our new bamboo flooring was warped and cracked, and the cleanup crew tore it out. The walls and ceilings were in jeopardy from water damage (though we’re now hopeful they’ll be salvaged). Our ruined belongings in the basement filled up three pickup truck loads, much of it valuable, some of it my flea market stuff. Since Katja had just begun a course on “How to Clean Out Your Clutter,” I’m sure she’ll get an A+ as the prize student in the class. Our insurance coverage will cover most of the damage, but, nevertheless, having a third of one’s house temporarily ruined and out of access is almost too much to bear.
I don’t know what you think, but it strikes me that we are the objects of some sort of Satanic curse. Sleepless at night, it suddenly dawned on me that all these events are due to the Republicans. Ever since the TV debates began, the forces of darkness have been spreading throughout the Western world. I’m not sure why our household has been targeted, though I did refer to one of the political candidates as “the devil incarnate.” I meant it as a joke, but now I think Satan was insulted by the comparison and sent his minions to make our lives miserable. We’ve been coping o.k., but we still need to take sturdy action. Tomorrow I am going to the library to borrow a couple of horror movies on DVD. I want to find out exactly how the good guys in those haunted houses went about conquering their evil spirits.